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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 15, 2011 6:12am
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Re: THE LAWLESS YEARS

On a further search of the copyright records, I can see that there was a transfer of ownership of this series from Chertock to Miner carried out in 1975. This is the record:

The Nick Joseph story & 47 other titles.
Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V2159P451
Date of Recordation: 1986-01-14
Entire Copyright Document: V2159P451-453
Date of Execution: 4Feb75; date of cert.: 7Jan86
Title: The Nick Joseph story & 47 other titles.
Notes: (The Lawless years)
Party 1: Chertock TV, Inc.
Party 2: Allen H. Miner.
Links: List of Titles

001 The Nick Joseph story.
002 The Marie Walters story.
003 The Immigrant.
004 The Story of Cutie Jaffe.
005 Pay off.
006 No fare.
007 Jane Cooper.
008 The Big man.
009 The Lion and the mouse.
010 Dutch Schultz story.
011 Muddy Kasoff story.
012 Maxey Gorman story.
013 Tony Morelli.
014 Four, the hard way.
015 The Story of Lucky Silva.
016 The Goering story.
017 Framed.
018 The Ray Baker story.
019 The Morrison story.
020 Prantera story.
021 The Poison Ivy Mob / Additional title: Harry the Horse.
022 The Artie Moon story.
023 The Al Brown story.
024 The Jack Russell story.
025 The Jonathan Wills story.
026 The Joe Angelo story.
027 The Billy Grimes story.
028 The Bill Boy "Rockabye" Creel story.
029 The Art Harris story.
030 The Story of Ike, the Novelty King.
031 Gang war story.
032 The Big Greeny story.
033 The Sonny Rosen story.
034 Triple cross.
035 The "Victor Gorido" story.
036 Ginny.
037 Jack "Legs" Diamond.
038 The "Kid Dropper" story.
039 The Little Augie story.
040 Louy K / Pts. 1-5.
041 The Jan Kawolik story.
042 Miles Miller story.
043 The Kitty O'Toole story.
044 The Mad Mick (Vincent Coll) Pts. 1-2.
045 Blood brothers.
046 Chile Medroso story.
047 Romeo and Rose.

Variant title: Lawless years
Names: Miner, Allen H.
Chertock TV, Inc.

However, none of these episode's copyrights were renewed in 1987, which was required for the copyright to extend beyond the initial 28 year period. Because of this, TMG's licensing from the Miner estate, watever their reason, was unnecessary and makes their release no more legal than any other.

It is not unusual for shows from this era to be produced or syndicated with sepia or green tint or even produced in full colour for an anticipated colour market. But, even if they weren't, the later addition of a single monochromatic tint to the whole episode would not be sufficiently creative to warrant a derivative work copyright. The only such new copyright that has been registered is Alpha Video's who released their prints with additional sound elements:

Lawless Years.
Type of Work: Motion Picture
Registration Number / Date: PAu002922154 / 2007-08-06
Application Title: Lawless Years.
Title: Lawless Years.
Description: Videodisc (DVD)
Copyright Claimant: Gotham Distributing Corp. d/b/a Alpha Video Distributors. Address: PO Box 101, Narberth, PA 19072
Date of Creation: 2007
Authorship on Application: Gotham Distributing Corp. d/b/a Alpha Video Distributors, employer for hire Authorship: Sound Effects.
Pre-existing Material: Motion Picture Preexisting; Lawless Years Directed by Allen H. Miner.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: Ambient and Newly Created Sounds.
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.

Names: Alpha Video Distributors
Gotham Distributing Corp.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-15 14:12:00